Saudi Arabia has revealed its intention to build what is expected to be one of the world’s largest airports, the latest in the country’s efforts to become a tourist hotspot.
The country’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, announced plans for a new King Salman International Airport in the capital, Riyadh, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported.
The airport, to be built by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund, will be built on the site of the city’s current airport, King Khalid International Airport.
It will cover an area of approximately 57 square kilometers, with six parallel runways. It aims to accommodate up to 120 million passengers by 2030 and 185 million by 2050, as well as 3.5 million tons of cargo.
The airport design will showcase Saudi culture and offer tourists a “unique travel experience”. It will also incorporate “cutting-edge green initiatives” into its design and be powered by renewable energy.
“King Salman International Airport will enhance Riyadh’s status as a global logistics hub, stimulating traffic, trade and tourism, and serving as a bridge connecting East and West,” the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Saudi Arabia has an ambitious goal of attracting 100 million tourists a year by 2030 as the country seeks to diversify its economy away from oil.
It first started issuing tourist visas in September 2019 after a long period of closure to foreign tourists.
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